Interestingly, I’ve just been put off commenting on the blog of a blog consultant because the comment process was too difficult to bother with. I decided to write about it here instead. Call me contrary if you will. Check this out:
I read Suw’s blog fairly regularly and think she is one of life’s Good Things, for what it’s worth. She is having a problem learning a new programming language and I thought I could help. I clicked the comments button, and typed my comment (about accessing MySQL at the command line, and it seems to have been resolved as I’ve been typing up this entry).
Then I saw that she asks users to verify they are real by typing in the captcha code. No probs, I thought, I can just about make out those letters. And then I scrolled a little further and saw that I needed to add a username and password and I’m told that the blog doesn’t allow anonymous comments. I’m happy to tell her who I am, but, um, there’s nothing on the comment form about how to get a login or just give her info about me for one little comment. So, I stared at the screen for a while and read the comment form a couple more times in case I’d missed something. Then I thought about how my comment might not be that welcome, and lacks insight, and probably won’t solve her problem, although it might be helpful, um….
Then I noticed ‘Create Reader Account’ further up the page and clicked on that. And then I clicked a link on that page to actually, you know, get to the page to create a reader account. And by this point I was really wondering how much I cared about commenting, which meant that when it asked me for too much information (I’m not even sure what, to be honest) I pressed the back button and decided the barrier to commenting was too high.
Keen as I am to give low level, unrequested technical help that might not be appropriate, I then glanced around for a way to email direct, but could see no contact info. At that point I had invested enough in the process to choose to whinge about it here, where I already have a login, and, with the combined forces of Askimet and WordPress, Suw can come and tell me I’m a fool on my blog without any nasty barriers to entry (apart from my slightly dubious site design, my one-time approval queue, and her lack of inclination of course…).